Infection Control

Everyone has a role to play in tackling infections and at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust we’re committed to providing patients with safe care in a clean environment whether care is provided at home, in a clinic or in one of our community hospitals.

To help us achieve this we have:

  • An Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPCT).
  • A nominated Director of Infection Prevention and Control (DIPC).
  • Monthly infection control committee meetings.
  • Infection prevention and control policies based on national guidance and recommendations.

The measures we’ve put in place to prevent infections includes:

Clinical Audit
The Trust ensures that regular audits are carried out to monitor the environment and hand hygiene audit results are presented to the infection control committee each month.

Staff Training
Infection prevention and control forms part of the education of all new staff and all staff are required to attend regular updates.

Cleaning
Keeping the environment clean helps to reduce the risk of infection and creates a more pleasant setting for patients, staff and visitors.

Cleaning staff working in Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust follow the national colour coding system for cleaning equipment to minimise the risk of cross infection. This means that different coloured cloths and mops are used for different areas of the ward/clinic, e.g. kitchens, bathrooms and general areas.

Cleaning standards are monitored regularly, but if you have any concerns please alert a member of staff as soon as possible.

Hand Hygiene
Thorough hand washing with soap and water is the single most important thing you can do to help reduce the spread of infections to help protect you, your family and those around you.

Antibacterial gels are a quick and easy alternative to soap and water and are suitable for use in most situations (always use soap and water if you have sickness or diarrhoea or if you are advised to by staff). Liquid soap and antibacterial gels are widely available for use by staff, patients and visitors in all Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust hospitals and clinics.

The Trust takes hand hygiene seriously and uses a combination of policy, clinical audit and training to ensure that staff provide patients with the best possible care. If you think staff may have forgotten to wash or apply gel to their hands please remind them - they won’t be offended.

MRSA
All patients admitted to Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust hospitals are screened for MRSA. Patients identified to have MRSA may be given antibacterial treatments.

Clostridium difficile diarrhoea
This infection can cause diarrhoea and is often associated with antibiotic use. It is often just called ‘C. diff’. Patients being cared for in community hospitals with C. difficile are isolated whilst they have symptoms and are monitored closely by the clinical team caring for them.

Cases of MRSA bloodstream infections or C. difficile are investigated thoroughly to help us identify if we need to make changes to the way we care for patients.

Useful Information

Norovirus information leaflet

MRSA information leaflet

MRSA leaflet for those affected by MRSA outside hospitals

MRSA screening - patient information

MRSA patient information - What if I am positive?

C. difficile information leaflet

Infection control information leaflet

Hand hygiene information leaflet

Understanding NICE guidance information leaflet

Websites

www.dh.gov.uk - Department of Health is a department of the United Kingdom government with responsibility for government policy for English health and social care matters

www.patients-association.com - The Patients Association is a national healthcare charity providing patients with an opportunity to raise concerns and share experiences and opinions of healthcare.

www.hpa.org.uk - Health Protection Agency - is an independent body that protects the health and well-being of the population.

www.nice.org.uk - National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.